Exchanging Wrigley Field and baseball with Orchestra Hall, the CSO and Lyric Opera–a sure sign that winter is coming.
Tonight’s program was a great way to kick off my classical music season. Joshua Bell performed Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1; about as close as I’ll ever come to really liking a piece centered around solo violin. The highlight of the concert for me was the second piece of the night, Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3 (Organ). Wow, is this ever a jolt of energy and a real crowd pleaser. It’s got everything: a full orchestra, crashing cymbals, four hands at the piano, rousing brass, and of course the full-on pipe organ that you feel as well as hear. (That’s organist Henry McDowell in the photo warming up before the concert.)
You’ve probably heard the Organ Symphony even if you’re not familiar with it by name; portions of his have been used in TV and movies. It’s lush and jolting and full of repeating layers. Very cinematic, which I love. To hear it live was a truly thrilling way to kick off my season.